03/22/2005 1:00AM

Canadian Derby now $300K


The Canadian Derby at Northlands Park, the only graded stakes race in Alberta, has had its purse raised by $50,000 and now is the richest race in western Canada.

This year's Canadian Derby, a 1 3/8-mile race for 3-year-olds, will offer a purse of $300,000, surpassing the $250,000 British Columbia Derby at Hastings.

The Canadian Derby had its purse boosted by $100,000 last year and attracted Organ Grinder, a Kentucky-bred who was one of the top 3-year-olds at Woodbine.

"We got a big field and a lot of quality horses," said Fred Hilts, the racing secretary at Northlands.

The purses for 15 other stakes have been increased by $10,000 to $50,000, which will be the minimum requirement for black-type status beginning next year.

Horse Racing Alberta, which regulates and manages the racing industry in the province, provided for the purse hikes with increased slot machine revenue.

The 72-day Northlands meeting, which runs from June 24 through Oct. 29, will offer a record total of $2.17 million in stakes purses.

Northlands will offer two fewer stakes this year, because the two divisions of the Sales Stakes, for older horses, have moved to Stampede Park.

Other significant changes on the schedule involve the Western Canada and Chariot Chaser, 6 1/2-furlong races for 3-year-olds which have been shifted from early July to mid-October.

"We wanted to have something for 3-year-olds later in the year, both the colts and the fillies, going short," said Hilts. "I think we'll get a lot more horses for them at the end of the year."

Distances for three stakes have been shortened, with the Ky Alta going from 1 1/16 miles to one mile and both the Count Lathum and Westerner from 1 5/16 miles to 1 1/16 miles.

2005 Northlands Park stakes schedule

Sat.,June 25JOURNAL3YO & Up6 1/2 furlongs$50,000
Fri.,July 1WILD ROSEF&M, 3YO & Up6 1/2 furlongs50,000
Sat.,July 9SPANGLED JIMMY3YO & Up1 mile50,000
Fri.,July 15NORTHLANDS OAKS3YO F1 mile50,000
Sat.,July 16KY ALTA3YO1 mile50,000
Sat.,July 23JOHN PATRICKF&M, 3YO & Up1 mile50,000
Fri.,July 29EDMONTON JUVENILEC&G, 2YO6 furlongs50,000
Sat.,July 30KLONDIKE3YO & Up1 1/16 miles50,000
Sun.,July 31PRINCESS MARGARET2YO F6 furlongs50,000
Mon.,Aug. 1SUN SPRINT CHAMPIONSHIP3YO & Up6 1/2 furlongs 50,000
Sat.,Aug. 6COUNT LATHUM3YO1 1/16 miles50,000
Fri.,Aug. 12MADAMOISELLEF&M, 3YO & Up 1 1/16 miles50,000
Sat.,Aug. 13SONOMA 3YO F1 1/16 miles100,000
Sat.,Aug. 20SALE STAKES2YO F6 1/2 furlongs60,000
Sat.,Aug. 20SALE STAKES2YO C&G6 1/2 furlongs60,000
Sun.,Aug. 21WESTERNER3YO & Up1 1/16 miles50,000
Sat.,Aug. 27CANADIAN DERBY (Gr. 3) 3YO1 3/8 miles300,000
Sun.,Aug. 28EDMONTON DISTAFFF&M, 3YO & Up1 1/16 miles75,000
Sat.,Sept. 3BIRD OF PAY2YO F6 1/2 furlongs50,000
Mon.,Sept. 5BIRDCATCHER2YO C&G6 1/2 furlongs50,000
Fri.,Sept. 9SALES STAKES3YO F1 mile50,000
Sat.,Sept. 10SPEED TO SPARE3YO & Up1 3/8 miles100,000
Sun.,Sept. 11SALE STAKES3YO C&G1 mile50,000
Sat.,Sept. 24FALL CLASSIC DISTAFF*F&M, 3YO & Up1 1/16 miles75,000
Sat.,Sept. 24ALBERTA BREEDERS'*3YO & Up1 1/16 miles75,000
Sat.,Sept. 24STURGEON RIVER*2YO F1 mile50,000
Sat.,Sept. 24ALBERTA PREMIER'S FUTURITY*2YO1 mile50,000
Sat.,Sept. 24ALBERTA OAKS*3YO F1 mile50,000
Sat.,Sept. 24BEAUFORT*3YO1 1/16 miles50,000
Sat.,Sept. 24RED DIAMOND EXPRESS*3YO & Up6 1/2 furlongs50,000
Sat.,Oct. 8FREEDOM OF THE CITY2YO F1 mile50,000
Mon.,Oct. 10CANADIAN JUVENILE2YO1 1/16 miles75,000
Fri.,Oct. 14 CHARIOT CHASER3YO F 6 1/2 furlongs50,000
Sat.,Oct. 15WESTERN CANADA3YO6 1/2 furlongs50,000